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Customer Review

286 of 328 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4-Port Hub Does The Job...., March 21, 2011
This review is from: AmazonBasics 4-Port USB 2.0 Ultra-Mini Hub (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There really isn't a whole lot to say about a USB hub. Obviously, as the description states, it supports up through the USB 2.0 standard. It's extremely lightweight and small, taking up about half the area of an average smartphone. It has a single amber LED that lights when power is reaching it.

The hub works flawlessly for me. Since it has no separate power supply, its ability to handle higher-powered devices that draw from the USB cable is limited to the port you are connecting it to.

(Edit 03/22/11) ---------
I'm seeing some other reviews that aren't entirely accurate regarding the unpowered nature of the hub, so it's worth expanding on. The USB hub can handle exactly as much power as the port that it is plugged into is capable of providing. For example, many keyboards have a USB port that can be used to plug in a mouse. Generally that is a low-powered port that is incapable of running a portable hard drive, charging an iPod, etc. Plugging the hub into that port would present the same limitations.

On the other hand, plugging the hub into a port directly on the computer's chassis is going to provide significantly more power to the hub. Higher powered devices such as a DVD burner, hard drive, etc. will work -- provided they work plugged directly into that same port the hub is plugged into. And if multiple devices are connected simultaneously, the power they draw combined must still be less than the maximum power available to the port.

I tested the hub in both Windows 7 (64-bit) and Fedora 14 x86_64 Linux (on a dual-boot Dell Inspiron 15R) with no problems whatsoever. No drivers are required, so it's effectively a seamless addition to any system. Plugging in a USB memory stick or 500GB WD Passport portable hard drive resulted in the item in question being mounted exactly as if the hardware had been plugged in directly. A quick throughput test showed that the hub was perfectly capable of handling the 500GB Passport drive while it was playing a 720p high definition mp4 video.

I docked one star for the price, which at the time of this writing, is shown as more than double the price of other functionally equivalent mini-hubs such as the Belkin 4-Port Ultra Mini Hub and the Connectland CL-U2MNHUB-4B 4-Port USB Mini Hub. If the price goes down to something that is more in line with these other hubs, I will amend the rating.

Other than the price though, I found no issues with its build, functionality, or usability. If the cost comes down I can honestly, whole-heartedly recommend this hub.

*** Update 08/06/2012 *** The price has indeed gone down by more than 50% since this review. As such, I have amended the rating as promised. Oh, and the hub is still performing as it was when I originally posted the review.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 26, 2011 8:58:55 AM PDT

This is a very detailed and technical review, just what is needed for a products such as this one. Thank you!


In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2011 12:39:47 PM PDT
Jeff Kraus says:
Thanks Tim, I appreciate the feedback. :)

Posted on May 2, 2012 8:56:22 PM PDT
Thanks for the review! I am looking specifically for a hub that is compatible with Windows 7 64 bit (which strangely is NOT compatible with my current hub, even though it works fine with Windows 7 32-bit) , so I appreciate you mentioning that!

What price did you pay? The current price as of today (May 2, 2012) is $9.29. Seems pretty reasonable! I only mention it because you said you docked a star for the price, but would revise your rating in the future if the price came down.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 10:30:53 AM PDT
Jeff Kraus says:
Thanks David. While I received this item through the Vine program, I based my rating on the price listed at the time I reviewed it, which was somewhere around $20. I have made the appropriate modifications to the review, which should be live shortly.

Thanks for the heads up!

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 10:22:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 10:23:19 AM PST
rpgmaker says:
This is a very good and helpful review. More people should mention specifically when a device works on Linux! (We will have to start an online campaign for this). While you would think a usb hub should be recognized just fine is always good to have some kind of confirmation, be it the manufacturer saying the product is linux compatible or, missing that, amazon buyers reviews.

This looks like the one with the best quality, compared to the ones that you mentioned (that have a lot of one stars and comments reporting that the device stopped working after a few weeks/months), so maybe that's why it was more pricey at first. Anyways, I'm glad they cut the price.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2014 10:41:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 12, 2014 10:41:31 AM PDT
very good report Jeff. Two questions, how long was that power cable and did it have to use a small transformer? Second, you mentioned a 500MB ext drive, do you think it will handle a 2TB ext drive that I just bought. To move up to 3.0 USB and am going to have to purchase small cards to fit card jacks already on the mother board. Recommendations? I have a HP 6000 series desktop and the mother board is easy to get.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2014 6:09:40 AM PDT
Jeff Kraus says:
Hi Richard,

The USB hub doesn't have a power cable. It's powered completely off of the USB port on the computer that it's connected to. If you have this hub connected to a full-power USB port (for example, a port on the computer's chassis) it should drive your 2TB external drive with no issues. It may not work if the hub is connected to a lower powered port, like the accessory port on a keyboard.

However, it should be noted that if you are planning on a USB 3.0 upgrade, this hub will drop the speed back down to USB 2.0 speeds, regardless of what it's connected to. If you want to maintain the benefits of USB 3.0, then you're going to need a hub that supports the 3.0 standard.

Posted on Aug 14, 2014 6:35:43 PM PDT
E. Starck says:
Jeff, Thank you for your review. Sorry if I'm not fully understanding, but I am not an expert. I'm running a 15" MacBook Pro with a non-functioning internal cd/dvd drive. I need to update my OS, so I bought a Samsung external dvd drive, but the USB hub shuts down with an error msg, "USB device is drawing too much power...", etc. You wrote, "Higher powered devices such as a DVD burner, hard drive, etc. will work -- provided they work plugged directly into that same port the hub is plugged into." I thought if I bought the 3.0 external hub for it's power adaptor (even though I know it will only run at 2.0 as per the internal Mac hub) and plugged it into the wall, I'd be able to run it and install the new OS disk. Or are you saying it still won't work since it's currently not working plugged directly in the Mac hub? Hope my question makes sense. Any help is sincerely appreciated.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2014 7:16:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 15, 2014 7:18:35 AM PDT
Jeff Kraus says:
Well, here's what I mean by that. The USB hub that I've reviewed here (with NO power adapter) is sort of like one of those home extension cords with three ports on the end. It doesn't change the amount of power coming out of the wall outlet, it just lets you plug in from farther away and add additional things to one plug. Of course, anything plugged into it has to share the available power. But if only one thing is plugged into it, it has the same amount of available power as if it had been plugged into the wall.

The amount of power supported by the computer varies. From Apple's documentation, a Macbook Pro with USB 1.1 or USB 2 ports supports up to 500 mA at 5V. I'm guessing that your DVD requires more amperage than that.

Now, you have a USB hub with an external power source, and I would EXPECT that the extra power from the wall would power your DVD drive, reserving the USB connection to your laptop for data only (as opposed to data and power). However, I don't really know anything about your hub. I would start by looking at the power specifications for your DVD drive and for your USB hub. The DVD drive amperage requirement needs to be lower than what the USB hub supports. Also, if the numbers are really close, you need to make sure that you don't have anything else plugged into the hub that could be draining power that the DVD drive requires.

Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. You may need to contact the manufacturer of your hub to troubleshoot the issue.

Good luck, and I hope I was able to help at least a little. :-)

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 5:39:45 PM PDT
Jetlag11 says:
This review is attached to a usb 3.0 hub, but the reviewer refers to a 2.0 hub without a power adaptor. Wrong product! Probably a predecessor usb 2.0 hub.
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